Hepatitis C is a liver disease triggered by the hepatitis C virus: the virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in seriousness from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.
What is Hepatitis C
The hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and the most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood. This may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
Across the world, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection.
A substantial number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Approximately 399 000 people die annually from hepatitis C, typically from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Antiviral remedies can cure greater than 95% of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the hazard of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but easy access to diagnosis and treatment is low.
There is at this time no vaccine for hepatitis C; however research in this area is continuing.
Acute vs Chronic Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes both acute and chronic infection. Acute HCV infection is normally asymptomatic, and is only very rarely (if ever) connected with life-threatening disease. About 15-- 45% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within 6 months of infection without any treatment.
The remaining 60-- 80% of persons will get chronic HCV infection. Of those with chronic HCV infection, the risk of cirrhosis of the liver is between 15-- 30% within 20 years.
Your liver is your major internal organ and your more info body's liver cancer causes workhorse. Among its many jobs are converting food into fuel, processing fat from your blood, clearing harmful toxins, and making proteins that help your blood clot. This hard-working, supersized organ is susceptible to an often hard-to-diagnose and dangerous health condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD.
Liver disease - Fatty Liver
NAFLD is defined as the appearance of fat in more than 5% of liver cells. It is the most common liver disease and affects up to 25% of American adults, 60% of whom are men.
The disease raises your risk of heart disease and left untreated, NAFLD also can result in an inflamed liver, a condition called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
As many as 40% of people with NAFLD develop NASH. NASH can lead to scarring of the liver; severe scarring, called cirrhosis, increases your risk of liver cancer.
A growing problem.
Taking too much alcohol can cause fat buildup in the liver, NAFLD affects get more info people who consume little or no alcohol.
Instead, the main primary cause is excessive weight-- which causes extra fat to get stored in the liver-- and is related to dyslipidemia (abnormally high LDL cholesterol levels, low HDL levels, or both), high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Fatty Liver & Obesity
As the number of overweight people has increased, so too has the prevalence of NAFLD. "Much of this can be attributed to a frequent diet of more refined foods and higher amounts of carbohydrates, coupled with more sedentary lifestyles," says Dr. Kathleen Corey, director of the Fatty Liver Disease Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. But still, she adds that some folks with fatty livers have none of these risk issues, which implies that genes can play a critical role.
Creating healthy eating habits isn't as challenging or as restrictive as some people imagine. The necessary steps are to eat mostly foods derived from plants-- vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes (beans, peas, lentils)-- and limit highly processed foods. Start on your healthy diet by following the links in this article.